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Aileen McLeod
Associate Director and Head of the Social Europe and Wellbeing Programme at the European Policy Centre
Dr Aileen McLeod is Associate Director and Head of the Social Europe and Wellbeing Programme at the European Policy Centre. Aileen leads the EPC’s work on the crosscutting policy area of the wellbeing economy.

Prior to that, she was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) representing Scotland, member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) and a Minister in the Scottish Government for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.

As MEP from 2019-2020, Aileen served as a full member on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee and the Constitutional Affairs Committee. She was also a Member of the EP’s Delegation for Northern Cooperation and for relations with Switzerland and Norway and to the EU-Iceland Joint Parliamentary Committee and the European Economic Area Joint Parliamentary Committee; as well as a member of the EP’s Friendship Group on the Artic.

Before her election to the European Parliament, Aileen chaired a Task Force that led to the establishment of the Wellbeing Economy Governments partnership (WEGo). This brings together the governments of Scotland, Iceland, New Zealand, and more recently, Wales and Finland.

Aileen served in the Scottish Government as Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform from 2014 - 2016.  She led for the Scottish Government in representing Scotland at the UN international climate change conferences in Lima (2014) and Paris (2015) and at European Environment Council meetings as well as other high level European and international events and summits.

As MSP for South Scotland in 2011 – 2016 Aileen was also a Director on Scotland’s Futures Forum established by the Scottish Parliament, where she chaired a series of seminars on ‘Rethinking Wellbeing’ with a focus on issues around economic, social and environmental wellbeing.

Her career has given her extensive experience in national and EU public policy at all levels, and expertise in EU and international policymaking across a wide range of policy areas.

Aileen is also a Senior Advisor to The Club of Rome and is a Board member of The James Hutton Institute, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Scotland, and the Future Economy Company.

Aileen holds a Master of Arts (Honours) in European Community Studies and German from the University of Edinburgh. She spent one year as an Erasmus student at the University of Augsburg, Germany. Aileen also holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the University of Central Lancashire.

Besides Scotland, Aileen has lived previously in Belgium during her time working in the European Parliament as Head of Policy for one of Scotland’s former MEPs, Alyn Smith, in 2004 – 2009.

PROGRAMME

Social Europe and Well-Being

PROJECTs

Areas of expertise

Social Europe, wellbeing economy, health policy, demographic change, climate change, environment, future of Europe

Current positions

Senior Advisor, The Club of Rome; Board member of The James Hutton Institute, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Scotland, and the Future Economy Company.

Education

Doctor of Philosophy on ‘The impact of the UK media on the legitimacy of the European Parliament in Britain’, from the University of Central Lancashire

Master of Arts Honours in European Community Studies and German from the University of Edinburgh

Languages

English, French, German, Dutch (basic)

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